Pan African technology group, Liquid Intelligent Technologies, has announced it has established a robust high-capacity communications bridge between Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Congo Brazzaville.
Liquid is now delivering affordable high-speed internet connectivity to communities using state-of-the-art Wireless Optical Communication technology (WOC) from Project Taara at X, Alphabet’s moonshot factory.
Despite being just 4.8 kilometres apart, internet is more expensive in Kinshasa than in Brazzaville, says liquid. The reason being, the two cities are separated by the Congo River, the second fastest and deepest river in the world, making it difficult to lay fibre across it.
Historically this had resulted in operators directing traffic through their respective cable landing stations over 400 km away to create high-capacity information flow between them.
As part of a larger initiative to improve broadband access across Central Africa, Liquid has been trying to close this strategic connection over the river for over two years. Now, using innovative technology from Project Taara’s Wireless Optical Communication links, Liquid was able to create this connection and accomplish this feat within days.
Liquid, says this high-capacity link is expected to bring down the cost of broadband access for millions of people, and a second optical link provides redundancy and resilience to this critical segment of Liquid’s network.
In the same way traditional fibre uses light to carry data through cables in the ground, Taara’s Wireless Optical Communication links use narrow, invisible beams of light to deliver high-speed connectivity.
Capable of transmitting up to 20 Gbps each, Taara’s links across the Congo River will help the 17 million people in these cities have access to much faster and more reliable connectivity. This milestone is part of Liquid’s broader initiative to make this region a more attractive destination for international business investments, the company says.
“Our work with Taara has allowed us to use WOC technology to provide cost-effective, high-speed connectivity to the people in the two cities. Thus, ensuring that Liquid can enable economic prosperity by creating a connected future across the African continent despite the difficult terrain,” said Nic Rudnick, Group CEO of Liquid Intelligent Technologies.
Also commenting, Bhavesh Mistry, Head of Project Taara in Africa said: “We’re delighted to be helping bring more affordable and reliable internet access to people in Kinshasa. Taara’s mission is to expand global access to fast, affordable internet and we’re proud to be supporting Liquid in their mission to close the connectivity gap between these two cities,” said Bhavesh Mistry, Head of Project Taara in Africa.
Since early this year, despite the challenges faced due to the pandemic, Liquid has successfully brought high-speed connectivity across the DRC, a country that previously ranked 145th globally for internet access. Working with international technology companies has enabled Liquid to extend high-capacity backbone on the continent, especially to its three East to West digital corridors.